According to the American Dental Association (ADA), silver amalgams are used for posterior tooth restorations in more than 100 million Americans annually. However, the safety of using silver amalgams has been contested in the United States since 1840. The objective of my study was to understand the biology behind silver amalgams and to outline the main evidence both for and against the safety of silver amalgam as a dental restorative material. Specifically, I was interested in understanding the positions of the ADA, FDA, and WHO. I found that the position of the ADA contradicted the positions of the FDA and WHO on this issue. Most importantly, debating the safety of amalgam-use invokes questions about the safety of alternative dental restorative materials as well.
Gibran Nasir, ’13
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Sponsor: Barbara Christie-Pope